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Phou v. Astrue

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 20, 2009

JENNIFER PHOU, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING COUNSEL'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW (Document 13)

ORDER EXTENDING DEADLINES

Plaintiff's counsel, Marc Kalagian, filed the instant motion to withdraw as counsel for Plaintiff Jennifer Phou ("Plaintiff") on January 8, 2009. The matter was heard on February 20, 2009, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. Mr. Kalagian appeared at the hearing. Leo Montenegro appeared on behalf of Defendant, although he did not oppose the motion. Plaintiff also appeared and was assisted by a Cambodian interpreter.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff filed this action challenging the Commissioner's denial of social security benefits on July 8, 2008. Her opening brief is currently due on or about February 20, 2009.

On January 8, 2009, Mr. Kalagian, filed the instant motion to withdraw as attorney of record. Counsel moves to withdraw because he believes that further prosecution of Plaintiff's action could subject him to Rule 11 sanctions. On December 16, 2008, Mr. Kalagian sent Plaintiff a letter informing setting forth his opinion and requesting that Plaintiff sign a substitution of attorney. Plaintiff signed for the letter on December 23, 2008, but as of the filing of the motion, has not had any further communication with counsel.

At the hearing, the Court spoke with Plaintiff, who indicated that she did not oppose counsel's withdrawal and understood that she would either have to proceed in pro se or secure other counsel. She also stated her intent to proceed with this action.

Accordingly, Mr. Kalagian's motion is GRANTED and Plaintiff is SUBSTITUTED in as counsel in pro se. Her current address is 535 E. San Bruno, Fresno, California, 93710.

The dates set forth in the July 10, 2008, Scheduling Order are extended 45 days for Plaintiff to find new counsel, continue the action in pro se, or dismiss the action. Plaintiff's opening brief is therefore due on or before April 6, 2009.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090220

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